Women, Peace and Security
Where women peacebuilders teach, share and inspire.
If we knew how to make a better peace, wouldn't we invest in it? Growing research is showing that one of the most powerful tools we have to transform peace accords from empty promises to lasting agreements is the meaningful inclusion of women. Peace agreements are 20 percent more likely to last two years if women participate meaningfully in the negotiation teams, and 35 percent more likely to last 15 years than if men negotiate alone (UN Women, 2012).
Yet too often, women's activism is ignored. Women leaders remain excluded from the peace table. Negotiation teams ask, "Where are the women?" For over 14 years the Institute for Peace and Justice has answered that question.
Each year, the Institute for Peace and Justice invites four PeaceMakers to campus where we document their stories and insights, to learn best practices and exchange ideas for future peacebuilding efforts locally, regionally, and internationally. Then we go deeper into the issues by having these women engage for a full semester in our "War, Gender, and Peacebuilding" class with undergraduate and graduate students.
Recent PeaceMakers include Judge Najla Ayubi, who openly defied the Taliban's ban on work for women or education for girls older than 8 years old in Afghanistan; Galia Golan, an instrumental figure in the Israeli peace movement; Pauline Dempers, a torture survivor and activist who is seeking justice for fellow Namibians following her country's civil war, and Glenda Wildschut, a South African psychiatric nurse who was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to the groundbreaking Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
In 2000, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1325, calling for greater inclusion of women in peacebuilding processes, better protection of women from human rights violations and access to services to end discrimination. Since then, conditions have improved but we have a long way to go before women's rights become a universal reality. By bringing together some of the brightest and boldest women, we highlight their work, challenge the assumption that women leaders are not capable of peacemaking and strengthen their advocacy for peace.